Let Her Speak for Herself: Nineteenth-Century Women Writing on the Women of Genesis

By Marion Ann Taylor; Heather E. Weir | Go to book overview

§51 Lady Morgan
(c. 1783–1859)

Lady Sydney Morgan was born in Dublin, the elder of two daughters of Robert Owenson, an actor, and his wife, Jane Hill. Morgan was educated at home by her mother and later attended private schools, including a Huguenot academy and a Dublin finishing school. Following her schooling, Morgan worked as a governess and began to write poetry, publishing a volume of poems in 1801 and her first novel in 1802. She continued to write and publish through the next ten years. Her career as a writer of fiction and non-fiction continued after her marriage to Sir Thomas Morgan (c. 1780–1843).

In 1840, Morgan published her last major project, Woman and Her Master, a work of historical scholarship; however, she completed only the first two of four projected volumes. Morgan was a feminist, and this work was a history of women, particularly tracing the suffering of women as "the victim of man's physical superiority," and as "the subject of laws, in the enactment of which she has no voice."7 Morgan used and acknowledged a wide variety of sources in this work.

Morgan's feminist agenda influenced her interpretation of Rebekah. She raised key issues for women in the story of Rebekah. She showed women's

7 Sydney Morgan, Women and Her Master, vol. 1 (London: Henry Colburn, 1840), 17.

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